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PowerPoint Presentation Tips

Often in college, students need to give presentations and speeches in front of their classmates. The process is nerve-wracking for a lot of students. It doesn’t always end after college. Depending on what career path people go into, they may have to give presentations at job interviews and business meetings. Many people hate public speaking. The thought of it even makes some people nauseous and short of breath.

Both in college and in the business world, presentations are given with the help of visual aids. One of the most popular programs used for this purpose is Microsoft PowerPoint. It’s a program used by students, professors, and professionals in some fields. It is a very versatile tool. But having to present with a PowerPoint presentation can make the process even more daunting.

In this article, I’ll go over some PowerPoint presentation tips that you can use to give a presentation in front of your classmates or work colleagues that will stand out.

Getting Started

First, you need to decide on the topic of your PowerPoint presentation. If it is for a specific class, the professor may assign you a topic, or give you a list of topics you can choose from. Other times, they will give you free reign, provided the topic has something to do with what they are teaching in the course.

If you need to create a PowerPoint for a work meeting, your boss (unless you are the boss) most likely will assign you a topic to cover. For example, as a sales team lead, your boss may ask you to present how your team increased their sales during the last quarter.

Researching and Outlining

Once you have chosen your topic, it’s time to start gathering and organizing information.

  1. Research Your Topic

If this is for a college course, professors will expect any presentation to be backed up with research. The only exception is when the presentation is regarding something personal about yourself.

  1. Outline, Outline, Outline

Once you have all the research done, you need to create an outline of how you are going to present the information during your presentation. You also need to decide in what order to present the information. This outline will help you set up your PowerPoint slides.

Preparing the outline will help you decide what points you will make during your presentation as well as how you will highlight those points in your PowerPoint. Make sure that your presentation talks about a specific main idea and that the points you make back that main idea up. Your presentation needs to be concise, just like your PowerPoint.

PowerPoint

Now it’s time to start putting together your PowerPoint presentation. Here are some PowerPoint tricks that you can use in this part of the process:

  1. Use a template that works well with the type of presentation you are giving. Simple templates with muted (less intense) colors are your best bet. A busy background will only distract your audience and make it hard for them to read any text on a slide.

  2. Do not put all the words in your speech in your PowerPoint. An effective PowerPoint is not one that you just read off of in front of an audience. A PowerPoint should complement your presentation. The elements you use need to be related to the points you are making in your presentation.

Take the points that you will make during your presentation and decide which words or phrases highlight those points best. Those are the words and phrases that you will put in your PowerPoint as highlights for the points that you will speak about during your presentation. You should try not to use sentences unless they’re short.

  1. Less is more. Each slide should contain a title and up to 6 bullet points with text. Along with that, you only should use two to three elements (text boxes, shapes, pictures, video, charts, graphs, objects, etc.) per slide. Too many elements on your slides will make your PowerPoint presentation messy and distracting.

Also, make sure the elements you use on a slide are related to the text on that particular slide.

  1. To make your PowerPoint more interesting, add motion paths to it. You can use motion paths to move elements on a line. You can also add animation effects. For example, you can have a picture fly off the side out of view once you are done showing it to your audience.

  2. A sound file is an option that can enhance your presentation. For example, a PowerPoint for a music history class can have audio clips of famous pieces of music.

You can either set the sound to start automatically or play it when you click the speaker icon that appears on the slide when you insert the sound file. For aesthetic purposes, you can make the sound icon invisible when you are running the slide show.

  1. A video is another option that will make your presentation stand out. You can embed a video, or you can provide a link to it (So you can keep the PowerPoint file size down). Once you embed a video clip into PowerPoint, you can:

  1. Trim the video and change the start and end times

  2. Set it to play full screen

  3. Set it to play automatically during a slide show

  4. Resize the video frame.

  1. You can also embed or link files in your PowerPoint by clicking the Object button on the ribbon under the Insert tab. These include Word documents and Excel spreadsheets. Let’s say you are doing a presentation for your company, or maybe it’s for a data analytics class. PowerPoint allows you to insert Excel data into PowerPoint. That way, the data you need to present is right there.

You can also create a link to or embed other types of files into your PowerPoint as well. Embedding is better because the information is right there in one place. But, make sure your presentation is not cluttered.

  1. Add speaker notes to your PowerPoint that you can print out and have as a reference during your presentation.

  2. Add a lot of variety into your PowerPoint to keep it interesting. Change up the layout on each slide and use different kinds of elements. For example, embed an image on one slide and a sound file on the next slide.

PowerPoint and Your Speech

Once you have your PowerPoint done, you need to practice speaking while working the PowerPoint at least several times to get comfortable with it. It can be embarrassing if you are speaking about a topic that is highlighted on slide eight, and you still have the slide show on slide four.

You especially need to practice the timing of your presentation with the slide show. It’s important not to speak too fast (this can be hard if you’re nervous) and to allow some time for pauses in between slides.

You also should practice so that you remember what you are going to say on each slide and are not just reading from your speaker notes. It’s alright to look down at a printout for reference once in a while, but you mostly need to maintain eye contact with the audience.

You should also have someone proofread your PowerPoint for you, just to ensure that there are no mistakes in spelling. There may be errors that your eye is not catching but will be noticed by someone else. Those really stand out when the PowerPoint is being projected onto a large screen.

Prescott Papers

If you ever need help with your PowerPoint presentation or simply do not have the time to put one together, Prescott Papers is happy to help. We have PowerPoint experts who can put together an effective, well-designed PowerPoint presentation for you. Why should you choose us?

  1. We only produce custom PowerPoint presentations using your exact specifications. All you have to do when you place an order is to provide the information that you need us to put into the PowerPoint, as well as any other assignment requirements.

  2. We’ll hire someone who not only knows how to work PowerPoint, but who is an expert in the subject of your presentation.

  3. We’ll double-check to make sure there are no errors in the PowerPoint.

  4. We’ll be able to make any edits and changes that you deem necessary.

  5. We have fast and reliable support available by phone and email.

  6. All your information is kept completely confidential.

  7. We can even add in speaker notes to the presentation.

In summary, Prescott Papers is one of the best when it comes to effective PowerPoint presentations that stand out from the crowd. However, PowerPoint is also a great tool to learn to use on your own. The official office.com website has a lot more information on working with PowerPoint. The way your PowerPoint is set up can make or break your presentation, so it is important that it is done well.

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